Charlotte and basketball bouncing back from HB2 in 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Winds of change are providing one big assist in validating upcoming events at Charlotte's Spectrum Center.

NCAA Division One College basketball in back.

Next week in the uptown area, expect the streets to be packed with fans cheering for their favorite schools.

Michael Smith, who heads up Center City Partners, is among those grateful that the chaos brought on by HB2 better known as the so-called bathroom bill has been resolved at least for now.

"The fact that we can get basketball here in Charlotte at that level. It is so good for us," Smith said. "It is so consistent with our love of the sport and the love of college basketball."

While big time events are gradually returning to the Charlotte community after being put on hold, State Senator Joel Ford calls it bittersweet.

"A partial burden has been lifted. Yes, it's nice to bring basketball back, but we still have work to do as it relates to the protections of the LGBTQIA community," Ford said.

George Photopolous's family business is the French Quarter restaurant, and this establishment among the uptown eateries at Latta Arcacde, is ready to welcome the crowds back.

"When you've got 20 thousand people going to the event, there's only so many restaurants that handle that much business. There's a lot of stuff going on that weekend," Photopolous said.

StubHub already has tickets on sale for the weekend, and so does the Spectrum Center which is also promoting the NBA All Star Game, which Charlotte lost in 2016 due to HB2.

"Yes it's good to have the sunshine out again," Smith said.

Prices on StubHub for local NCAA game tickets range from $73 to $199.

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